Lottery draws are hugely popular in Canada — and for good reason. For a relatively small outlay, anyone who plays has the chance to become instantly rich. Even with a microscopic chance of landing the big one, players get to dream of what they would spend the jackpot on between draws. Games like Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49 offer the chance to win multimillion-dollar prizes nationally, and there are many more draws — some with big prize pools — in the provinces.
This page has everything you need to start enjoying lottery games online in Canada. First up, there is a look at how the lotteries are organized across different regions. After that, we discuss the biggest national draws, along with the main regional draws. Then we go into how to buy lottery tickets online, the other lottery games available through provincial portals and qualifying for bonuses and incentives.
How the lottery works in Canada
There are five provincial lotteries that each run their own set of draws. Alongside these provincial draws, there are three nationwide draws that you can play from anywhere. These are Lotto Max, Lotto 6/49, and the Daily Grand.
The five provincial organizations regulate ticket sales in their region. They are responsible for online lottery ticket sales as well as those from retail outlets. In addition to the draw tickets, they run other games like scratch cards, online games and online second chance drawings for losing tickets. Here are the five organizations:
- Atlantic Lottery (ALC): The Atlantic Lottery Corp. regulates lottery gambling for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. As well as the national draws, you can play the million-dollar Atlantic 49.
- British Columbia Lottery Corp. (BCLC): Covering British Columbia, this online lottery portal is linked to the Western Canada Lottery Corp. Alongside the nationwide draws, you can also win $2 million playing the BC/49.
- Loto-Québec: Covering Québec, this organization’s biggest draw is the Québec 49, alongside the nationwide draws. Play the Lotto 6/49 and the Québec 49 on the same ticket for the chance to win a $50,000 bonus prize.
- Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG): The Ontario 49 is the biggest regional game, with $2 million to be won, alongside the chance to play the nationwide games.
- Western Canada Lottery Corp. (WCLC): Play both the Western Max and the Western 6/49 alongside the national draws. The WCLC covers BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
The three Canadian national lottery draws
The biggest lottery prizes in Canada are shared among all the regional lottery corporations. These prizes regularly reach the eight-figure range — life-changing amounts for the winners. There are plenty of smaller prizes for each of the draws for matching fewer numbers. You can buy tickets to these draws online through the regional lottery portals — and check the results using your smartphone. Here are the three biggest draws:
Lotto 6/49 was launched in June 1982. It was the first Canadian lottery to allow players to choose their own numbers. Draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday. As the name of the draw indicates, players pick six numbers between 1 and 49. Tickets cost $3 each — with a jackpot that starts at $5 million and grows from there.
If you match all six, you win the main prize — which can be shared among multiple tickets. As well as the six numbers, a bonus ball is drawn. This gives you extra opportunities to win a portion of the prize pool, or fixed prizes. There is an optional “Extra” draw that allows you to buy extra numbers for $1 each. This gives you a shot at winning up to $250,000 in a bonus draw.
Players matching just two numbers win a free ticket, with the prizes starting at $5 when you match two with the bonus ball. There is a guaranteed $1 million prize draw that runs alongside each draw. The largest-ever win in Canada’s 6/49 lottery draw was $64 million by a ticket holder in Mississauga, Ontario, in October 2015.
This second largest nationwide lottery was introduced in September 2009. Lotto Max draws take place every Tuesday and Friday. The jackpot starts at $10 million — and keeps growing from there. In this draw, players choose seven numbers from 1 to 50.
The price of a Lotto Max entry is $5. In addition to the main numbers, players make two quick picks for each ticket. Match three of the seven numbers and you receive a free play for the next draw. Cash prizes start at $20 if you match three with the bonus number. The top prize for this draw has increased many times over the years, with a $70 million prize won in Ontario in Jan. 2020.
The Daily Grand (Grand Vie in Québec and Atlantic Canada)
This lottery draw is known as the Daily Grand due to the fact that the winner will enjoy $1,000 a day for life. This is guaranteed for at least 20 years should a winner die before the 20-year period expires. Winners of the Daily Grand can also choose to take a $7 million lump sum.
To take part in this draw, you need to pick five numbers between 1 and 49, plus a “grand number” between 1 and 7. The cost of a single board is $3, and the draws take place every Monday and Thursday.
Hit just your grand number and you win a free ticket to the next draw. Cash prizes start at $4 if you match one number alongside your grand number. To win the $1,000 per day for life, you need to match your five numbers and the grand number. There is a secondary prize for matching just the five main numbers. This is $25,000 a year for life, or a $500,000 lump sum.
Canadian regional lotteries with the largest jackpots
Here is a rundown of the largest draws in each of the five regions:
- Atlantic 49/Atlantique 49 (Atlantic Lottery Corporation): This draw takes place every Wednesday and Saturday evening at a cost of $1. Players pick six numbers between 1 and 49, and if you match all six, you win the $1 million jackpot.
- BC 49 (BCLC): Similar to the Atlantic 49, this draw sees you pick six numbers between 1 and 49. This time around the top prize for matching all six numbers is $2 million. Double up your stake to $2 and you have the chance to win the “Extra” prize of $500,000.
- Québec 49 (Loto-Québec): Pay $1 to pick six numbers between 1 and 49. Hit all six numbers to win the jackpot prize of $2 million. Draws take place twice weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- Ontario 49 (OLG): Similar to many of the other regional lotteries, this draw has a fixed jackpot prize of $2 million. To win this, you need to match all six of your selections between 1 and 49. Tickets are $1, and draws are twice weekly.
- Western Max (WCLC): Pick seven numbers between 1 and 50 at the cost of $2. This game has a $2 million top prize if you are lucky enough to match all seven numbers. Draws take place every Tuesday and Friday, and you can add “Extra” for the chance to win the $250,000 top prize or the $100,000 second prize.
- Western 6/49 (WCLC): Pick six numbers between 1 and 49 for your chance to win $2 million. Tickets come at the cost of $1, and draws take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Add “Extra” on Saturdays for the chance to win the quarter of a million top bonus prize.
Other online lottery games in Canada
You can buy tickets to the main national and regional lottery draws via online portals in each province. In addition, you can enjoy lottery-style games in several formats online. They cover instant win games like scratch cards, casino-style games (in some regions), bingo and Pro-Line sports betting.
Not only will you enjoy these games in a safe and legal environment, but the profits go toward various causes in your province. Here is an overview of the games — keep in mind that what is available will vary depending on your region:
Instant win games
There are two types of instant online lottery games. The first is scratch cards. These are online versions of the cards that you can buy from retail outlets. Some of these games have giant prizes for a relatively small outlay. A good example is the Triple Millions scratch card offered by WCLC, which offers a $3 million jackpot prize for a $30 outlay. There are also instant games with game-show elements available online. Examples include games linked to “The Price is Right” and “Wheel of Fortune.” Note that you can also find out how many major prizes are left for each type of retail scratch card at the online lottery sites.
Alongside the draws, you can access slots and other online casino games via the provincial online lottery portals. Note that these games vary by province. Games include slots, video poker, blackjack and roulette. With giant jackpots available, many online slot games have lottery-like qualities.
Video lottery terminals
These are available at brick-and-mortar casinos around Canada. VLTs host a selection of different games like slots, video poker and virtual table games. There are more than 38,000 VLTs spread across Canada. They are operated by all of the provincial organizations apart from the OLG and the BCLC. Online versions give you access to familiar games, which include many classic slots that have been adapted for VLT play.
Bingo is a popular game across all of the provincial organizations except the OLG and the WCLC. A good example is iBingo from the Atlantic Lottery Corp., which offers the chance to play at all times throughout the day. You will also find fast keno-style games via online lottery portals.
You can bet on sports in Canada via online lottery portals. Canadian two-game minimums apply to all bets. Pro-Line sports betting is available online via the OLG and the Atlantic Lottery Corp. Other similar sports options are available from the WCLC (Sport Select), Loto Québec (Mise-o-Jeu) and the BCLC (Sports Action).
Advantages of playing lottery online in Canada
Online lotteries have multiple benefits. Here are the key reasons to switch your lottery play online:
- No need to queue: Having the ability to buy your lottery tickets online means no more queuing at your local convenience store. Simply log on to the website, choose your numbers (or ask for a quick pick ticket), and you are entered into the draw. To make things even easier, you can buy tickets for multiple weeks in one go, grab tickets for multiple draws or try your hand at one of the other games at the same time.
- Information on draws: You will find the rules, chances of winning and times for the next draws online. You can also check whether you have won, with the numbers for multiple weeks displayed on most portals. If you play scratch cards, you can find out exactly how many of the big prizes are left for each brand. You can also see what benefits from the lottery online in your region via the “good causes” information pages.
- Additional products: There are multiple ways to enjoy casino-style games, sports betting and bingo alongside online lottery ticket purchases. This includes “second chance” draws, which give you a shot at turning losing scratch cards or tickets into cash prizes. Many slots and virtual scratch cards have jackpots that rival the biggest provincial lottery prizes.
- Smartphone apps: There is a range of apps available from various lottery organizations. These make it easy to see the draws, check your numbers and buy tickets without the need to access a computer. Simply download the app directly from the website.
- Responsible gambling: If you feel that you have problems with gambling behaviour — or someone close to you does — then you will find information and links to organizations that can help.
Canadian online lottery: Bonuses and promotions
There are bonuses and promotions available for online lottery players across Canada. These offers differ from province to province. They will give your account a boost or add more chances to win.
For example, if you create an account with the Atlantic Lottery Corp., you will receive a welcome bonus to give your balance an immediate boost. In Québec, you can enjoy double winnings when you play Fortune Coin Online. Lottery bonuses are small compared to bonuses at online casinos — though, with free play and extra cash available, you never know when that little extra will turn into a big win.
Promotions can be focused on different online games, seasonal (for example Christmas promotions) or take the form of standing promotions such as reload bonuses. Register with your email address to receive the latest deals.
Banking methods at online lottery sites in Canada
Legal and regulated online gambling via lottery portals means you can deposit and withdraw with confidence. Several banking methods are available at different online lottery Canada sites. The most common deposit options are these:
- Debit and credit cards: Lottery organizations will accept subscription payments and deposits from MasterCard and Visa debit and credit cards.
- Interac: For a simple fee-free option, you can make a deposit by loading funds onto your virtual Interac wallet and pay through Apple Pay or Google Pay.
- PayPal: You will be able to make a lottery purchase using PayPal if you have a confirmed card linked to your account.
- Web Cash: Web Cash allows you to purchase $25 vouchers at select retailers, which you can then use to fund your account.
- Online bill payment: Transfer money from your bank to your account through online bill payment.
Withdrawals are usually available via an electronic bank transfer and deposited directly to your bank within three to five business days. You do need to register your bank account. This is a one-time process that requires you to send details of your bank institution, transit and account numbers and upload banking documents for ID verification.
Summing up —Canadian online lotteries
Many dream about becoming an instant millionaire — and playing the lottery gives you a shot at this. Canada has both national and regional lottery draws. The biggest games have jackpots seeded at $10 million and $5 million.
You can enter lottery draws via online portals. This not only saves you time, but it also provides many other benefits. It is possible to enter multiple draws in advance, check your numbers and enter second-chance draws. You can also enjoy online scratch cards and slots, and play bingo-style instant games.